Over the past few years, interest in warehousing activity has been a major driver of business operations across the state of Pennsylvania, and that trend shows no sign of abating any time soon. This activity has been particularly common in the Lehigh Valley area, where proximity to a number of major highways and major cities makes distribution work particularly fertile ground for companies of all descriptions.
For instance, Upper Bern Township - less than an hour from Allentown - may soon see the addition of a warehouse within its borders that could employ up to 500 people full-time, according to a report from the Reading Eagle. The plan would include not only the construction of a warehouse itself but also about $1 million in infrastructure upgrades. It's believed the project would generate about $397,000 in property taxes over a 10-year period.
Jobs with good pay
In addition, the facility would pay its employees well, the report said. Average annual salaries at the proposed warehouse and distribution center would come in at a little less than $36,000 per year, up significantly from the Berks County per capita average of slightly more than $27,000.
As for the infrastructure upgrades, the developer would pay for road shoulders to be widened and that improvements to an overpass for Interstate 78, near where the facility would be located, the report said. Construction on all associated projects could begin within the next several months and would take about a year to complete.
Another construction effort in the area
Meanwhile, a little farther up I-78, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, might likewise see a huge warehouse construction project start soon, according to the Allentown Morning Call. The city's planning board will soon review a proposal to build a warehouse measuring 1.2 million square feet, tacking nearly 50 percent onto the capacity at a recent development built at the junction between two major travelways. As with many such efforts in the region, convenience for transport is key to the plans.
"This is what this [development] was planned for - distribution and warehousing," said Alicia Miller Karner, city director of community and economic development. "There is a lot of land back there, and it has excellent access to Route 412 and Interstate 78."
With competition in the region never truly cooling down, it's vital for those in warehouse staffing to make sure they can offer employees the most generous salaries and benefits possible, as a means of attracting the most qualified workers in the region.